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Healthy diet and heart disease … a little prevention goes a long way

As a major advocate of healthy, conscious eating, FoodFacts.com actively looks for new information and research regarding how conscious consuming affects our health and well being. We were happy to find this information today coming out of McMaster University.

32,000 cardiovascular patients, on average in their 60s, living in 40 different countries were followed to discover whether or not following a heart healthy diet consisting of fish, fruits and vegetables would reduce their chances of recurrent heart attacks or strokes.

It turns out they found a significant and positive effect when patients included a heart healthy diet along with traditional preventive therapies. In fact, of the 32,000 patients studied, there was a 35 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, a 14 percent reduction in the risk for new heart attacks, a 28 percent reduction the risk for congestive heart failure and a 19 percent reduction in the risk for strokes.

The patients participating were surveyed for how often they consumed different categories of food in the past year, including fruits, vegetables, grains, milk, nuts, poultry, meat and fish. In addition, they were asked about personal lifestyle choices including exercise and smoking. A healthy diet was considered to be high in fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts in addition to a higher consumption of fish than meat or poultry.

Researchers found that those patients who reported consuming the heart-healthy diet defined received additional benefits over and above those provided by taking their regular cardiovascular medications. These patients experienced a significant reduction of cardiovascular related events.

The study that noted that some heart patients believe that because their prescribed medications are working to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol, their diet isn’t an important factor in their disease. Every year, more than 20 million people around the work survive heart attack and stroke and while it’s true that their prescribed drug treatments do work to lower their risk of additional events, this study links the addition of a heart-healthy diet to better outcomes.

It’s thought that this is the first research that has focused on the impact of healthy eating for cardiovascular patients who are taking medications to combat the possibility of future heart attacks, stroke or death. The concept of a physician’s advice to heart patients being expanded to include healthy diet improvement is really pretty simple.

FoodFacts.com is encouraged that this study and, hopefully future research, will promote the heart-healthy diet as more than just a preventative measure for avoiding cardiovascular problems, but as an actual treatment for those who have been afflicted with heart disease. Some small changes in diet could result in healthier, happier and longer lives for millions.

Read more:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203162931.htm

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